Taking a break from the harsh realities of inequality covered last week and shifting my focus toward an emerging choreographer who is taking the commercial dance world by storm. You may have never heard of Jaquel Knight but if you've seen Beyonce's latest video "Single Ladies"then you're definitely familiar with his work.
A new transplant to Los Angeles via Atlanta, Jaquel was tapped by longtime Destiny's Child and Beyonce choreographer Frank Gatson to create the choreography for the diva's first single off of her forthcoming album I Am...Sasha Fierce.
Jaquel's amazing choreography, the dancers, and the strangely familiar concept for the video has been the subject of online adulation and gossip since it's release.
If Madonna introduced the masses to voguing then Jaquel and Beyonce are introducing pop culture to J-setting. But make no mistake about it, neither diva invented the art forms, but gay men on the ballroom floors of New York City and black college female dance teams deserve all of the credit.
J-setting as choreographed by Jaquel for Beyonce dominates black gay clubs in the south and is featured this week in Atlanta's Southern Voice.
Beyoncé’s celebration of J-setting in “Single Ladies”is an even more explicit kiss to gay culture than when she implored listeners to “walk across the room like Naomi Campbell” in “Get Me Bodied” from 2006’s “B-Day” album, says SOVO reporter Ryan Lee.
While Beyonce's commitment to the gay community may be questionable unlike fellow divas Jennifer Hudson or Patti LaBelle, the kids love her and she has no shortage of black gay men on her creative team.
The popularity of Jaquel's choreography is reminiscent of Tina Landon's choreography for Janet Jackson's "If" and is being mastered and performed by amateurs and professionals alike, one simple YouTube search proves my point.
At 19 years old Jaquel's amazing talent is just beginning to blossom and it'll be exciting to see what he'll create next.
Get into "Single Ladies" below and two of my favorite amateur You Tube videos of Jaquel's choreography.